Ellisburg Hemp Farmer's First Harvest

Ellisburg Hemp Farmer's First Harvest

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At the end of June, Marc Privitera planted nearly an acre of hemp seeds at his farm in Ellisburg. 100 days later, the result is a healthy harvest.

"This is a great example of you get good vegetative when you plant early in the season," Privitera said.

With an old John Deere combine, Privitera is trying to collect everything from the hemp plant. From the stalk all the way to the seeds. Until the end of 2015, it was illegal to grow hemp in New York State. After Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the bill into law, Privitera's farm is just one of six private businesses in the state that was picked to experiment with hemp production.

Privitera said once he's done harvesting these six and seven foot stalks of hemp, he plans on making them into things that are a little bit smaller, like batteries.

"What I want to do over the next six months, you know, I'll contact people and supply chain folks and go hey I got this material that I might solve some problems that you might be looking for a solution for," Privitera said.

Privitera said the stalks can be used to make things like paper products and insulation. While the seed's oil can be used to make soap. His vision is to have $100 million worth of harvested hemp by 2020, creating 100 new local jobs.

"I don't want to just have it farmed and then send it somewhere else we need to process it up here in Northern News York," Privitera said.

Privitera added he's already looking forward to next year's hemp season. He plans on planting the seeds collected from this year's harvest in late spring.

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